The Hong Kong Museum of Art focuses on local and Chinese art collections,
including Chinese painting and calligraphy, Chinese antiquities,
historical paintings and contemporary art. In order to enhance the
public's interest and knowledge in the arts of the world, the museum
presented a variety of thematic exhibitions, covering ancient and
modern works as well as Chinese and Western themes.
In 2003, the museum staged 12 exhibitions, comprising
seven special exhibitions and five permanent ones. Three of the
major special exhibitions were presented jointly by the museum with
renowned Chinese and overseas museums, featuring art objects and
cultural relics from the Mainland and overseas. The Private Life
of An Old Red Army Man, jointly organised with the Shenzhen
Sculpture House, was a 'social sculpture' exhibition rarely seen
in Hong Kong. Through a display of old photographs and personal
manuscripts of an 'old Red Army man', the exhibition intended to
reinterpret the revolution of 20th century China.
The Selection from the Guoyun Lou Collection
of the Shanghai Museum exhibition was another successful collaboration
with the Shanghai Museum. It featured a rich collection of Chinese
paintings and calligraphic works by well-known ancient masters from
the collection of Gu Wenbin, an acclaimed scholar, connoisseur and
owner of the Guoyun Lou, and his eminent Gu family in Suzhou.
Desire and Devotion: Art from India, Nepal and Tibet in the John
and Berthe Ford Collection, a thematic exhibition jointly organised
with an American museum, the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, displayed
paintings and sculptures that reflected the uniqueness of the arts
of the Indian subcontinent and Tibet.
Other special exhibitions were presented to
cover noted local artists. Hong Kong Cityscapes — Ink Painting
in Transition, a rerun of an exhibition held during the Hong
Kong Festival in London, provided an overview of ink painting and
its evolution in Hong Kong in recent decades. Sun Xingge: An
Exhibition of Chinese Painting and Calligraphy, featuring a
new museum collection generously donated by the family of Sun, reflected
the unique artistic accomplishments of this well-known Guangdong
painter who settled in Hong Kong in the early years. Hong Kong
Art Biennial 2003, a region-wide event, featured works by local
artists selected from over a thousand entries. The exhibition, covering
a wide range of media, fully illustrated the recent development
of contemporary Hong Kong art and the creativity of local artists.
Also on display was Navigating the Dot — Collective in
Progress, a new version of the Hong Kong exhibition at the 50th
In order to enrich people's knowledge of its
collections, the museum updated its permanent exhibitions with new
exhibits from time to time. The Chinese Antiquities Gallery featured
a new exhibition The Art of Rhinoceros Horn Carving, which
cast light on the artefacts of the Ming and Qing dynasties in the
Metal, Wood, Water, Fire and Earth: Gems of Antiquities Collections
in Hong Kong exhibition series. For Chinese painting and calligraphy,
Selection of 20th Century Chinese Figure Paintings from the Museum's
Collection showed the faces of people in the new era as seen
by Chinese artists in the past century. The Xubaizhai Gallery
also featured Selection from the Xubaizhai Collection of Chinese
Calligraphy with a fine selection of over 50 works of calligraphy
from the 'Six Dynasties' period to the 20th century.
To enhance the public's interest in art, the museum
also organised a wide range of education and extension programmes, including
video shows, special lectures, family programmes, art workshops and guided
tours. During the year, the museum took part in various major art extension
programmes such as the International Museum Day and the 'School Culture
Day'. Moreover, the museum liased with 26 different art organisations,
groups, tertiary institutions and galleries and presented over 20 fringe
exhibitions and programmes for the Hong Kong Art Biennial 2003.
The exhibitions, together with various education and
extension programmes, attracted over 207 000 visitors and participants
during the year.
The collection of this museum comprises various kinds of teaware
and related vessels from the collection of the late Dr K.S. Lo and
rare Chinese ceramics and seals donated by the K.S. Lo Foundation.
Two special exhibitions were held in 2003: Far Beyond Teapots
featured various vessels for tea and wine, of periods ranging from
the Neolithic period to the 20th century; Yuanyang: An Exhibition
of Coffee and Tea Vessels illustrated items of coffee and tea
vessels tailor-made by noted Hong Kong artists to associate with
the theme yuanyang (a mixture of milk tea and coffee).
The museum organised a variety of educational
activities, such as demonstrations of Chinese tea drinking, tea
gatherings for parents and children, tea gatherings with instrumental
music, tea classes and video shows. During the year, over 182
000 visitors were entertained.
Throughout the year, in addition to The Hong Kong Story
permanent exhibition, the Museum of History presented four thematic
exhibitions: namely A Tribute to Heritage: Discovering Hong Kong's
Culture and Tradition, 75 Years of Broadcasting in Hong Kong, We
Shall Overcome: Plagues in Hong Kong, and Sun Yat-sen: from Cuiheng
to Hong Kong. These exhibitions presented in detail the different
facets of the history and heritage of Hong Kong. Moreover, four
major thematic exhibitions were jointly presented with museums and
cultural institutions from the Mainland and overseas. They were
War and Peace: Treasures of the Qin and Han Dynasties; Napoleon
Bonaparte: Emperor and Man; National Flag, Emblem and Anthem of
the People's Republic of China; and Boundless Learning: Foreign-educated
Students of Modern China. The joint presentations broadened
the public's cultural horizons, and also facilitated the academic
and cultural 'interflow' between Hong Kong, the Mainland and foreign
countries. The museum attracted 973 231 visitors during
To foster public interest in local history and cultural
heritage, the museum organised diversified educational activities and
extension services, like guided tours, audio-guides, lectures, workshops,
demonstrations, performances, field trips, in-house video programmes,
'School Culture Day' programmes, loan of educational resources, travelling
exhibitions, briefing sessions, an international symposium, seminars,
a quiz competition, and an Inter-school Competition of Study Projects
on Hong Kong's History and Culture. The museum and the Hong Kong Institute
of Education jointly conducted the 2nd Junior Curator Training Course,
which was successfully concluded with a small display assembled by the
student-participants at the museum in November.
Apart from the Museum of Coastal Defence, the Museum
of History also manages two other branch museums — the Lei Cheng
Uk Han Tomb Museum in Sham Shui Po and the Law Uk Folk Museum in Chai
Wan. They attracted 37 065 and 30 977 visitors, respectively.
Converted from the old Lei Yue Mun Fort in Shau Kei Wan, the Hong
Kong Museum of Coastal Defence comprises three main areas: Reception
Building, Redoubt and Historical Trail. The permanent exhibition
galleries are located in the Redoubt, and feature the standing exhibition
600 Years of Coastal Defence in Hong Kong that depicts Hong
Kong's history of coastal defence from the Ming and Qing period,
the British period and the Japanese invasion to the period after
Hong Kong's reunification with the Mainland. Visitors may also explore
the historical military relics in the Redoubt and on the Historical
Trail, such as the gun batteries, the torpedo station, caponiers
The museum presented three thematic exhibitions
during the year — Cultural Relics of the Zhongshan Gun
Boat, Cultural Relics of the Fireboat Alexander Grantham (jointly
organised with the Fire Services Department) and Archery Traditions
To arouse public interest in the history of
Hong Kong's coastal defence, the museum organised a variety of educational
activities, such as guided tours to the galleries and the Historical
Trail, lectures on specific topics, family workshops, demonstrations
and field trips. The museum's exhibitions and activities attracted
213 895 visitors during the year.
'Food Culture' was the theme of the Hong Kong Heritage Museum's
programmes in 2003-04. A series of exhibitions and educational activities
was organised, including thematic exhibitions entitled More Than
Just Food — Ceramic Art Exhibition and Hong Kong's Food Culture.
In the former exhibition, 12 local artists in ceramics produced
appetising menus specially designed for each month of the year as
well as some imaginative ware on which to serve the food. The latter
exhibition reviewed the history of local food, investigated the
changes that had taken place in eating establishments, and examined
food packaging in Hong Kong.
Other thematic exhibitions staged during the
year included Life in China Around the May Fourth Movement: Sidney
D. Gamble's Photographs of China 1908-1932; Huizhou Vernacular Architecture;
Alan Chan: The Art of Living; 'Woman' Wanted; Fashion Parade: Women's
Wears in Changing Hong Kong; and Mapping Asia — the 18th Asian
International Art Exhibition.
A total of 1 138 educational and extension
activities were organised for the public such as lectures, field trips,
video programmes, demonstrations, art camps for children, workshops, performances,
guided tours and an international symposium. A new initiative, the MuseKids,
was introduced in July to provide children from kindergarten level through
to Primary 6 with opportunities to explore the history, art and culture
of Hong Kong. Specially designed educational programmes would be regularly
arranged for them. By year-end, 4 549 children had become
members of the scheme.
The museum's exhibition programmes, together with
its educational and extension activities, attracted 455 629
visitors and participants.
The Heritage Museum also manages three branch museums
— Sam Tung Uk Museum, Hong Kong Railway Museum and Sheung Yiu Folk
Museum. The Sam Tung Uk Museum in Tsuen Wan was originally a Hakka walled
village built in 1786. It was declared a monument in 1981 and later converted
into a museum for public viewing. Located in Tai Po, the Railway Museum
consists of the old Tai Po Market Railway Station building, a narrow-gauge
steam locomotive and various historical coaches. The station building,
in Chinese style, was built in 1913 and declared a monument in 1984. The
Sheung Yiu Folk Museum, situated in the Sai Kung Country Park, is housed
in a Hakka village built in the late 19th century. It comprises eight
domestic units, pig pens, an open courtyard and an entrance gate-tower.
The village and a nearby lime kiln were gazetted as monuments in 1981.
In 2003, the Sam Tung Uk Museum, Hong Kong Railway
Museum and Sheung Yiu Folk Museum attracted 154 933, 197
415 and 44 434 visitors, respectively.
On loan from a supplier in the United States, Grossology: The
(Impolite) Science of the Human Body was held between November
2002 and March 2003. Animatronics and interactive exhibits were
used to engage visitors. A total attendance of 153 797
was registered during the exhibition period.
The exhibition Albert Einstein: Man of the
Century was held in the foyer of the Science Museum between
February and April. Based on original material housed in the Albert
Einstein Archives, the Jewish National and University Library and
the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the exhibition portrayed Albert
Einstein both as an outstanding scientist and as a humanitarian.
The exhibition consisted of rare photographs and film footage.
The Sciencetunnel Exhibition between
May and August attracted 64 870visitors. It was developed
by the Max Planck Society of Germany. Featuring a 170-metre multimedia
tunnel, the exhibition guided visitors through the new dimensions
of modern-day research. As visitors passed through the 12 linked
stations, they were able to appreciate the latest achievements and
discoveries that help to explain the emergence and evolution of
all kinds of things in the universe, including human life, as well
as the importance of science in enhancing the well-being of humankind.
To complement the International Museum Day initiated
by the International Council of Museums, the LCSD presented an International
Museum Day programme in May with 'Discovering Museums' as its theme.
Taking the role of event coordinator, the Science Museum worked
with 20 public museums and cultural institutions to organise over
200 entertaining and educational programmes including a three-day
'Museum Panorama' held at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Piazza which
attracted about 20 000 participants. The museums, offering
free admission to the public during the period, received 64
The exhibition SARS and Viruses was
held in the foyer of the Science Museum from June 30, and was originally
intended to close in September. In view of the public response,
the exhibition was extended to the end of October and attracted
a total of 177 976 visitors. Entirely developed and
produced in-house, the exhibition aimed at educating the public
on the scientific aspects of SARS as well as of viruses in general.
Among the exhibits was a 3D model of a coronavirus and an infrared
forehead temperature scanner.
The Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition
was presented between October and December and featured the winning
entries in the 2001 and 2002 Wildlife Photographer of the Year competitions
organised by the Natural History Museum of the United Kingdom. Combining
artistic perspective, technical expertise and the natural beauty
of animals across the spectrum of deserts, mountains, forests and
oceans, the 200 images portrayed the harmony of nature and conveyed
the message of environmental protection.
To commemorate China's first successful manned
space flight in mid-October, the Exhibition on China's First
Manned Space Mission was held from November 1 to November 4
in the Special Exhibition Hall. Among the exhibits was the re-entry
module of the Shenzhou-5 spaceship that carried Colonel Yang Liwei
into space on October 15 and the spacesuit he wore during his epic
mission. The exhibition attracted more than 103 000
visitors during the continuous 76-hour exhibition period.
In late December, the museum began a three-month
follow-up exhibition entitled China's First Manned Space Mission
Exhibition II — Gifts for Hong Kong to display the items
presented by the Space Mission Delegation that visited Hong Kong,
including the training suit donated by Colonel Yang and two large
satellite images covering the Hong Kong SAR and the Pearl River
Delta. The exhibition also featured memorabilia produced for earlier
aerospace exhibitions held in the museum.
From October to December, the museum joined
hands with the Hong Kong Observatory to organise a series of six
lectures presented by distinguished meteorologists from the United
States, the Mainland and Hong Kong. The series, introducing meteorological
topics of public concern like El Nino, typhoons and climate
change, attracted a total audience of 1 380 people.
With the aim of introducing to the public scientific
research projects currently conducted in local universities and
disseminating knowledge of 'frontier' technology, the Science News
Corner staged three thematic exhibitions in 2003: Automatic Face
Image and Sketch Recognition, Fruit Fly — Drosophila and Extremes
of the Universe. The exhibitions, jointly developed by the universities
and the museum, represented a valuable collaboration between researchers
and museum professionals in promoting science. The exhibition will
be renewed regularly to keep abreast of scientific advancement and
As in the previous year, the LCSD's 'Teacher
Museum Pass' Scheme served to encourage teachers to visit museums
and make use of museum resources to support their work. The museum,
serving as coordinator of the scheme, arranged orientation visits
for teachers and processed applications for around 2 000
The museum continued to work with educational
institutions and professional bodies on a number of special projects
to promote science. Popular examples were the Fun Science Competition
in February, the Symposium on Environmental Issues for Schools and
6th Primary Science Project Competition in July, the 36th Joint
School Science Exhibition in August, and the Joint Schools Robotic
Olympiad in November.
The museum's exhibitions and extension activities
attracted more than 870 000 visitors and participants
during the year.
The Hong Kong Space Museum is dedicated to promoting astronomy
and space science to the public. During the year, the museum strengthened
its astronomical observation activities. A special occasion was
the week from August 27 when the planet Mars was at its closest
to the Earth in60 000 years. The museum remained open
until late at night to enable members of the public to view the
planet through astronomical telescopes. More than 5 000
people took advantage of the opportunity.
In addition, the museum and the Hong Kong Astronomical
Society jointly organised a Sidewalk Astronomy session for
the public at the Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront in October. In this activity,
about 50 astronomical telescopes were set up for use by interested
passers-by, and more than 1 500 people took advantage
of the opportunity to observe celestial objects.
To mark China's first manned space flight in
October, the museum organised a number of activities including exhibitions,
display of a model of the Shenzhou spacecraft and workshops. Related
educational materials were also produced.
During the year, the museum published the Astrocalendar
2004. The museum's two Sky Shows, four Omnimax films, and six
School Shows attracted some 290 100 people. The museum
also organised 190 extension activities that had over 40 700
participants. Fourteen temporary special exhibitions, together with
the permanent exhibits in the Hall of Astronomy and in the Hall
of Space Science, attracted more than 317 700 visitors.
The Hong Kong Film Archive's major functions are to acquire, preserve,
catalogue and document Hong Kong films and related materials. With a gross
floor area of 7 200 square metres, its major facilities include
a cinema, an exhibition hall, a resource centre and a number of temperature-controlled
collection stores. It has already acquired more than 5 600
films and 994 000 items of related materials, mainly through
donations and deposits.
During the year, nine thematic exhibitions such
as the Shaws Galaxy of Stars, The Psychic Labyrinth of Friedrich
Wilhelm Murnau, In the Footsteps of Lai Man-wai, and Attraction
and Magic — Early European Cinema were organised and more
than 460 screenings were held at the Film Archive. To complement
the exhibitions and screening activities, the Film Archive also
held a number of joint projects with local educational and cultural
institutions in organising seminars and workshops for film students,
researchers and the public. In research on the history of Hong Kong
cinema, the Film Archive conducted oral history interviews with
film veterans and produced a number of film-related publications.
The resource centre, equipped with computers,
independent video booths and a rich collection of film-related reading
materials, was well patronised by the public, attracting a daily
average of 156 users. Overall, the Film Archive attracted more than
160 000 visitors during the year.
The Art Promotion Office aims to promote local visual arts through
wide-ranging activities focusing on public and community art. The
office places importance on undertaking projects with different
partners, which helps to further enhance art appreciation and participation
among members of the public.
The Public Art Scheme 2002 was completed during
the year with selected artworks installed in four public libraries
and two town halls. The Gallery Ferry Project was jointly organised
with the Hong Kong Arts Development Council, New World First Ferry
Services Ltd and New World First Bus Services Ltd. In this project,
three installation works and 20 two-dimensional works were displayed
on board three ferries and at Pier 5 in Central from May until year-end.
The second 'Artists in the Neighbourhood' Scheme
was another partnership project. In 2003, works of 12 artists and
one art group were displayed at different LCSD venues, MTR stations,
hospitals and shopping malls. Because of the success of the 'Art
· Care' project in 2002, the office launched another community
art project entitled A New Beginning/A New Day with the local
arts organisation Art in Hospital, to sustain the efforts in introducing
visual arts to hospitals.
The Art Promotion Office is also responsible for the management
of the Hong Kong Visual Arts Centre. Nine art studios, a lecture
theatre, an exhibition hall and a multi-purpose room were open for
public hiring at subsidised rates. The centre focuses on providing
professional hiring facilities and training in the visual arts and
promoting them. The second Art Specialist Course, which covered
five disciplines — ceramics, printmaking, painting, sculpture
and ink painting — was specially designed for general art
lovers who would wish to pursue structured professional art training.
The course began in October 2002 and lasted nine months. A graduation
exhibition was held in the centre in October to celebrate the graduation
of 62 participants by displaying artworks they created during the
The Central Conservation Section devises, implements and evaluates conservation
programmes for museum artefacts and heritage objects. In 2003, the section
administered conservation treatment to 2 633 cultural objects
including paintings, paper artefacts, textiles, photographs, metals, ceramics,
organic materials and archaeological finds. It continued to provide the
necessary technical support for 79 thematic exhibitions and the management
of some 200 000 collection items pertaining to 12 public
museums, the Art Promotion Office, and assisted in the preservation of
repository items for the Antiquities and Monuments Office.
As an essential part of its education and extension
programmes, the section received five schools for behind-the-scene laboratory
visits under the 'School Culture Day' Scheme and organised 14 workshops
and guided tours for the International Museum Day. Adding together other
lecture programmes and laboratory visits, the section received over
5 000 visitors during the year.
With a view to preserving the fireboat Alexander
Grantham upon its decommissioning after 50 years of service and mounting
it for public viewing, the section has been engaged in the necessary project
planning and conservation work for the vessel and its more than 500 relics.
To follow on from the success of the first phase of
staging cultural displays at the Hong Kong International Airport, the
section undertook to organise another standing exhibition there, in cooperation
with the Airport Authority, for the enjoyment of travellers and people
working at the airport. Entitled Formal Dialogue — Sculptures
by Hong Kong Masters the exhibition began in April and featured 28
acclaimed works by two local master sculptors.